It is no longer a question of will the Celtics’ roster look different next season, it’s merely a question of how different. Although Danny Ainge is still publicly pining for Kyrie to return back to Boston, we all know that he’s got two chances of plying his trade in a Celtics’ uniform – slim and none – and Slim just left town. That means the C’s need a guy like, ohhhh, let’s just pick a name out of the hat to fill the gaping void Irving will leave in the Boston backcourt – Terry Rozier! Yes, the guy who took so well to his diminished role and playing time this season, with a healthy Kyrie back in the fold, that he nearly talked his way out of town. However, now that he is a restricted free agent and Kyrie will most likely find greener pastures elsewhere, Danny is warming to the idea of handing Scary Terry a brand-new contract.
It will be interesting to see what the NBA odds will be on Boston this season to win the conference and, dare we dream, a world championship. If the Celtics go all-in on Anthony Davis, then who will be left standing to get him the ball? We know Jayson Tatum will be the first one New Orleans plucks but, in addition to draft picks, who else on the roster will be headed south?
The word on the street is that Trader Danny may be on the prowl and shifting his attention to another big man out there without quite the lofty pedigree, nor the exorbitant cost, of Anthony Davis. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Houston’s Clint Capela. The 25-year-old is reportedly available to the highest bidder as the Rockets attempt to deconstruct their roster and build a better foundation from the ground up around their anchor, James Harding.
Capela is an intriguing alternative to the almost mythic specter of Anthony Davis wreaking havoc in a Celtics’ uniform. Sure, virtually anyone other than a handful of players would be a letdown from AD coming to town, but if Ainge can swing a deal for a defensive specialist whose scoring aptitude has increased from seven points per game four years ago to 16.6 PPG where he was last season, accompanied by his 12.7 boards per contest, then what’s not to like? The 6’10” native of Switzerland had the highest field goal percentage in the league, converting nearly 65 percent of his shots. Of course, every trade is judged, not only by the return but the cost. It will be interesting to see if Trader Danny can sell ice to another Eskimo but one thing we do know - changes are coming.
Let’s also not forget the upcoming NBA draft, taking place on June 20th, where more young talent will be available for a spot on next season’s roster. The Celtics have three first-round picks at Nos. 14, 20, and 22 but they could very well use one, or all of them, to deal for a veteran talent or maybe as collateral to move up in the draft. Chances are the C’s won’t be adding four kids (including their second-rounder) to an already young roster. However, there are several intriguing prospects who could be gotten in the middle of the first round like USC freshman guard Kevin Porter Jr. or Virginia’s sophomore guard Nickiel Alexander-Walker. Both recently worked out for the Celtics and could find a landing spot in Boston. Regardless, it won’t be long before Ainge knows for sure who’s in and who’s out, but how he shapes a pretender into a contender should make this a fascinating offseason.